celebrating 40+ years of motorcycling

Chapter 15 – Join the club

The birth of CRRC:

By the time I’d been living in Canberra for a few months, I became aware that there were a large number of guys who were regularly road-racing in Sydney who lived in and around the Canberra region.

And yet, all of these riders were members of Sydney motorcycle clubs. There were 3 motorcycle clubs in the ACT and all 3 of them catered exclusively for dirt bike sports. This didn’t prevent tar racers from being members, of course, but being a member of one of the local clubs would have prevented them from being able to race in Club days in the rest of NSW.

Most motorcycle road racing events back then were Club Days, usually what was called a “5 Way Restricted” meeting. And, in order to be able to race at those meetings, you had to be a member of one of the 5 invited clubs. St George, Annandale Leichardt, MCRC, BWP and Willoughby were the clubs that ran most of the club days.

So, the Canberra  riders were all members of one of the above clubs. That seemed absurd to me due to the difficulty of attending meetings, getting entry forms and returning them, etc, seemed very difficult.

So, I decided to see if we could do something about it. Through advertising in the motorcycle shops, and by word of mouth, we managed to get all of the riders and a lot of other people interested together and canvass them about whether they’d like to have a club of their own.

The answer was that, yes, they would as long as the Auto Cycle Union of NSW (now MANSW) would recognise the club and as long as the Sydney clubs had no objection and would be prepared to invite new members to their club days.

From there we contacted the Sydney clubs and asked if they had any objection to the club being formed (their approval was required by the ACU) and if it WAS formed, would they support the new club by inviting us to club days. The answer was “No” to the first question and “Yes, to the 2nd.

Then it was on to the ACU to ask if they’d sanction a new club (remember there were already 3 clubs in Canberra) The late Arthur Blizzard went to bat for us and the Road Race Committee voted in favour of our application. So, in October 1977, Canberra Road Racing Club was formed. With a Foundation membership of 57 members, and a rapidly rising membership once our applications was approved, it was all “Go.”

I was privileged to be elected as the Foundation President and was later elected as the club’s only Honorary Life Member, an honour which I greatly treasure.

To begin with we met in the garage of the Morgan’s in Spence, but we rapidly outgrew the home venue and had to move our regular meetings to the local YMCA.

This was just the beginning of a sensational period that culminated in the Canberra Road Closure race meetings.

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